IMAG – Press Release
Africa's Largest Country Pushes Modernization
Algeria: Growth in Building and Construction Machinery
Did you know that Algeria is the largest country in Africa? But a geographic edge is not Algeria's only advantage. Algeria is also a desired trading partner since the country has put the modernization of its infrastructure at the top of its agenda. For Germany, Algeria is the best trading partner in North Africa for generating sales. A presence at international construction trade fairs in Algeria now provides an avenue for building business relationships with public and private business partners.
Although oil prices are low, the World Bank estimates that Algeria's economy will grow by 3.4 percent in 2016. The country continues to focus on improving its infrastructure. The core areas for development include roads and railways, water and energy supply, and housing.
The Giant Mosque
The construction of the world's third largest mosque (behind Mecca and Medina) is currently underway in Algeria. The prayer hall in "Mosquée de l'Algérie" will be 45 meters high and will accommodate up to 35,000 believers. Measuring 265 meters, the minaret will be the tallest building in Africa. This will provide the location for a museum and research facilities. The mosque will be surrounded by movie theaters, boutiques, tea houses, and a college with a library and student dormitory. The design was drafted by the Frankfurt-based architecture company KSP Jürgen Engel, and other German companies are participating in the mosque's construction as well, like Europoles from Neumarkt, Bavaria. The medium-sized company is building 614 octagonal concrete columns for the mammoth project.
Popular Trading Partner
Many countries have already recognized the potential in Algeria and have made trade agreements with the important supplier of petroleum and natural gas, or are in talks with Algeria's decision-makers. The major importers to Algeria are China, France, Italy and Spain. Germany ranks at number 5. And cooperation negotiations are also already taking place with Iran.
The Algerian government wants to increase local production and create more jobs beyond the oil and gas industry, as well as increase the exchange of expertise and grow the number of educated, qualified personnel. For professional development, the focus is shifted to the establishment of education centers in partnership with companies working to establish greater connections between the education sector and industry.
Trade Fairs as a Door Opener and Market Exhibition
Many small and mid-sized companies—many from the building and the construction machinery industries—have recognized Algeria as an important market. To establish contact with public and private business partners in Algeria, they take advantage of one of the local international trade fairs. The Batimatec trade fair is offered yearly for the building industry. The SITP (Salon International des Travaux Publics) is offered for construction machinery businesses.
With around 1,200 exhibitors and, according to the organizer, 100,000 visitors, it has become North Africa's leading construction fair. Half of the exhibitors come from abroad. In 2017, it will be held at the Palais des Expositions in Algiers from April 23 to 27.
Each year, SITP opens its doors and serves around 400 exhibitors and 15,000 visitors as the leading trade fair for construction machinery in Algeria. Next time, SITP will be held from November 23 to 27 and will be supported by the Algerian Ministry for Infrastructure. Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has re-entered the fair in its foreign trade fair program and supports the participation of German firms in an official joint German stand.
Exhibitors for the two trade fairs can apply via IMAG, a subsidiary of Messe München.
"To us Algeria has become one of the most important markets of the past few years. In the meantime, more than 200 of our machines are winning popularity with their reliability and performance," says Dieter Kamp, Area Sales Manager at Händle, experts in the heavy clay industry.
The Swabian company serves its Algerian customers with its own representation in Algiers. The company has maintained one of its customers since 1949 already. Händle now runs six processing lines in the North African country, each in different implementation phases. In addition, more and more individual machines are being developed, which are helping customers improve the quality of their products. The enormous demand for new housing and the construction of public buildings have also created a heavy demand for bricks in recent years. "The hot bricks were loaded directly onto the truck from the kiln car," remembers Kamp. Since the brick market is currently saturated, the industry is focusing more and more on improving quality through the exchange of key machines in processing.
"This topic was heavily discussed at our booth at Batimatec and has initiated very interesting projects," says Kamp. Moreover, future brick models are discussed, which lend themselves to an effective building design, or provide high thermal and sound-absorption. "We have been exhibitors at Batimatec for five years, and it has become the most significant and successful international trade fair for us," says Kamp.
One exhibitor at SITP is Masa GmbH, manufacturer of machines and devices for the building materials industry. "Since 2015, we have been represented with our own stand at SITP and have been able to take advantage of it for good conversations and establishing new contacts for gaining new customers," says Soufyan Nechad, Area Sales Manager. Masa has already been selling its distinct, yellow-blue machines for several years in North Africa through partners and area sales representatives. "Especially for Algeria we see great potential and expect strong growth in the coming years," explains Nechad. Masa plans to initiate one or two more major projects in the second half of 2016.
Popular meeting place for the construction industry in Algeria. The Batimatec and SITP trade fairs at the exhibition center in Algiers. The construction site for "Mosquée de l'Algérie" is visible in the background, which will soon become the third largest mosque in the world.
This is how the giant mosque is expected to look after its completion in 2018. The minaret will be 265 meters tall.
Photo: KSP Jürgen Engel